Activism

Julian Burnside: “I worry where our democracy is going”

Julian Burnside in Lesbos 1a photo Supplied LLLL

Human Rights Arts and Film Festival kicks off at five cinemas across Melbourne on May 3. On May 12, the festival is screening the world premiere of Judy Rymer’s Border Politics, wherein human rights lawyer Julian Burnside AO QC travels the globe to compare how different nations are responding to the refugee crisis. Nick D TimeOut Burnside, 68, is a Melbourne-based commercial litigation barrister who became involved in human rights causes after 2001 when he was asked to act pro bono in ... Read More »

‘This is my country’: how a Melbourne suburb defied the far-right to welcome refugees

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The settlement of refugees in Eltham sparked far-right protests. But locals presented a different vision of Australia Denham Sadler The Guardian Οn a dreary Sunday afternoon in late March, the sort that provides a harsh lesson on what Melbourne weather is capable of, a Syrian refugee talks through an interpreter about her escape from the conflict that has torn her… Amena*, who along with about 100 other refugees from Syria and Iraq settled in the suburb of Eltham on the outskirts of north-east ... Read More »

Somaliland poet jailed for Somalia reunification poetry

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A court in the self-declared republic of Somaliland has sentenced a young poet to three years in jail. BBC Nacima Qorane was found guilty of bringing the state into contempt by advocating for Somaliland to reunite with Somalia. Pressure groups in Somaliland said Ms Qorane’s basic human rights have been violated. Somaliland self-declared independence in 1991, but is not recognised internationally. Ms Qorane was arrested in January after returning from the Somali capital Mogadishu, where prosecutors said she had recited ... Read More »

Aid funding crisis hits Somaliland after 80 per cent of livestock die and 700,000 people forced from homes as result of devastating drought

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Donations which keep this clinic going will run out next month and urgent funding is needed Geraldine McKelvie Mirror Tiny Amran Hassan howls in agony from the hunger pains that ravage her ­emaciated body. She is four but weighs just 21lb – the same as the average one-year-old in Britain. Her skeletal frame is the result of a drought devastating Somaliland in East Africa, where rain last fell two years ago. Nearly 80 per cent of livestock has died, destroying ... Read More »

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Winnie Madikizela Mandela 1a The Guardian etc

A life in pictures Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the anti-apartheid activist and former wife of Nelson Mandela, has died. The Guardian During her husband’s incarceration, she campaigned tirelessly for his release and the rights of black South Africans. She later became a controversial figure in South African politics due to allegations of corruption and involvement in acts of brutality. Matt Fidler Read More »

‘Glee, Satisfaction and Weeping’: How America Reacted When Martin Luther King Died

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When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, public perception of him was more mixed than it is today. Readers recount the mood they witnessed 50 years ago. Kelly Virella The New York Times For many years, the United States has lived under a broad consensus that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a national hero, even a national saint. But nearly a half-century ago, when he was assassinated, public perception of him was far more ... Read More »

Gaza Protests Mark Shift in Palestinian National Consciousness

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Protests in Gaza on Friday 30 March, at which Israeli forces killed more than a dozen Palestinians, were the largest of their kind in several years and are likely to grow over the coming weeks. Nathan Thrall ICG In this Q&A, Nathan Thrall, Director of Crisis Group’s Arab-Israeli Project, says the series of planned marches reflect the Palestinians’ determination to take matters into their own hands after losing faith in outside mediation. What happened last Friday? Friday was 30 March, Land Day, the… Gaza Protests Mark… Read More »

No gun, no Molotov: why did a 19-year-old Palestinian protester die?

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Gaza:  The morning after burying 19-year-old Abdul Fattah Abdul Nabi, his family gathered in a tent set up to receive mourners, watching and rewatching a video of the moment they say Israeli soldiers shot him in the back of the head. Brisbane Times Washington Post The video appears to show Abdul Fattah, dressed in black, running away from the border fence carrying a tyre. Just before reaching the crowd, he crumples under gunfire. “He had no gun, no Molotov, a ... Read More »

Mauritania court gives toughest sentence for slave owners

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Two slave owners in Mauritania have been jailed in a country where slavery remains widespread but convictions rare, activists say. BBC The sentences of 10 and 20 years are said to be the toughest-ever for the crime in the West African country. Slavery was outlawed in 1981 but 1% of the population are still living in bondage, human rights groups say. Black people of certain ethnic groups are often enslaved as domestic workers by lighter-skinned Mauritanians. The country has jailed ... Read More »

The master plan to stop Brexit

An anti-Brexit demonstrator waves a Union flag as he stands draped in a European Union (EU) flag outside the Houses of Parliament in London on March 28, 2018.
With Britain just a year away from leaving the European Union, the transition deal agreed between the two sides is viewed as a key element to absorbing the Brexit shock. British Prime Minister Theresa May kick-started divorce proceedings one year ago, and March 29, 2019, has since been set as the date the UK will leave the bloc. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN        (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Best for Britain group trains activists how to persuade Leave voters — less hectoring, more listening. Charlie Cooper Politico LONDON — The leaders of the last-ditch effort to stop Brexit are rallying their troops with an uncomfortable message — they’ve been fighting in the wrong place. With just a year to go until the U.K.’s official exit date from the EU, leading anti-Brexit group Best for Britain is assembling an army of volunteers educated with tactics that couldn’t be further from ... Read More »

German far-right activist held in Hungary over arms sales

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A German far-right activist was arrested in Hungary on March 28 on suspicion of illegally selling weapons through a website that urged citizens to defend themselves against migrants, Berlin prosecutors said. BERLIN – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The suspect, 34-year-old Mario Roensch, was detained in an early morning raid on his Budapest home by Hungarian anti-terror officers. Prosecutors said he is “strongly suspected” of running the far-right website Migrantenschreck (Migrants’ fright) between May and November 2016, which according to German media ... Read More »

Australian gun control advocates call for federal intervention to save firearms pact

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Report finds the national firearms agreement is ‘haemorrhaging’, with more than 50 breaches of the code by states and territories Ben Smee The Guardian Gun control advocates have called for federal intervention – and even a referendum – after commissioning a damning report that shows states and territories have trashed the historic 1996 national firearms agreement. The agreement, which led to the surrender and destruction of more than 1.1m firearms, was signed by all states and territories after the Port ... Read More »

Everyday heroes compelled to break the law when government fails to protect us

Abbot Point coal terminal QLD 1aaa photo Glenn Hunt

What does it say about the state of our democracy when it falls upon everyday people to stop a billionaire building the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere? Julian Burnside * The Sydney Morning Herald And what does it say about our politicians that they will let Adani’s mine proceed when the vast majority of Australians don’t want it, and scientists are urging us to keep coal in the ground to avoid more dangerous climate change? This month, nine ... Read More »

Sweden’s Örebro City Council: “End the invasion of Afrin”

Afrin 1a Sweeden LLLL protest

Örebro city mayor and municipal commissioners condemned the Turkish state bombings and invasion and stated that they stand in solidarity with the people of Afrin and YPG/YPJ forces. ANF Örebro City Council administrators from various political parties came together to condemn Turkey’s bombings and invasion in Afrin, standing next to each other with signs that read “AFRIN”, and read a… Mayor of Örebro Kenneth Nilsson from the Social Democratic Workers’ Party and municipal commissioners Murad Artin from the Left Party, ... Read More »

Why I’m taking the fight for teenage girls worldwide to Canberra today

AU map in hands 1a illustration by Andrew Dyson

Today, I will walk into Parliament House on a mission. I want to change the lives of half a billion teenage girls and young women like me. Courtney Green Brisbane Times Australia’s foreign policy and aid budgets are lacking any representation or commitment to girls and so it’s only fitting that it’s a girl who changes that. I am no stranger to overcoming the challenges that are presented to me because of my gender. I use my activism to close ... Read More »

March For Our Lives: Hundreds of thousands of people protest against US gun laws in rallies around the world

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The demonstration of global solidarity comes after 17 children were massacred at a school shooting in Florida – and the UK is taking part too Ian Simpson & Jamie Bullen Mirror Student survivors of the Florida school massacre are among the half a million people expected to march through Washington DC calling for tighter gun laws. Across the USA alone, 800 separate marches are taking place where hundreds of thousands more are expected to take part, according to organisers. Protests ... Read More »